Stewart MacFarlane is one of Australia’s most prominent figurative painters. Using bold colours and dramatic lighting his mysterious paintings are a surreal look at the convoluted intricacies of human relationships, set against a backdrop of familiar Australian cityscapes and landscapes. An accomplished artist, he has held 49 solo exhibitions of his work in Australia, the United States, and Germany. In 1996, Craftsman House published the monograph Stewart MacFarlane, Riddles of Life, by Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian.
He has also been honoured with countless international awards and residencies, including a fellowship from MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, USA and residencies in Besozzo Studio, Italy, the Bemis Centre for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska USA and at Roswell, New Mexico, USA with the Roswell Museum & Art Centre. Within Australia he has taken part in various residencies in universities around Australia and was the winner of the Alice Prize from the Alice Springs Art Foundation.
As one of Australia’s most outstanding contemporary artists MacFarlane’s works have been extensively collected and can be seen in all major state and university galleries throughout Australia. The most notable of these are the Australian National Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Monash University and Curtin University. On an international level his works can be found in the permanent collections of Shell and the Provincetown Museum and Art Centre of Massachusetts, USA
Stewart MacFarlane’s first solo show in Kuala Lumpur, entitled Private Life, is a themed exhibition focusing on the female nude in contemporary urban settings.
Working from life, the paintings reveal the spontaneity and intensity of this process. MacFarlane uses the tradition of working from the model, but breaks the past by creating an involvement between artist, model and viewer. The viewer is engaged because of the animation and eye-contact with the model as opposed to past practice of passive voyeurism.
The other factors that make these works unique are the intense and raw colour, and the acidic lighting. The lighting set for dramatic effect is not unusual for a domestic setting but is not common in contemporary painting. It refers to stage sets, or a film experience.
There will be approximately 30 works in this exhibition.
This is a landmark exhibition as it is the first time that Stewart MacFarlane will be showing his works in Malaysia and Asia.